Understanding the F: drive

You’ve probably heard of the F: drive, but you might not be certain about what it is – this post will give you a quick introduction.

What are drives?

Drives are devices which store files, such as the documents you create for your university coursework. There are several different types of drive:

  • Local drives – These are physically attached to the computer that you are using
  • Removable storage – These include USB memory sticks and CD/DVDs
  • Network drives – These are drives which you are connected to via the University’s ICT network

Where can I find out what drives are available?

On your desktop you should see an icon for your computer which looks similar to this:

My Computer Icon

My Computer Icon

When you double-click on the icon, it should list all of the drives that your computer is connected to.  Each computer will have its own configuration so the list of available drives may be different depending on where you are.

List of Drives

List of Drives

What do the letters mean?

Each drive has a name (such as ‘data’) and a corresponding letter (such as ‘D’). The drive is often referred to by the letter instead of the name.  So the F drive is the third drive listed in the picture above.

What is the F: drive?

The F drive is your personal storage space and is sometimes referred to as your homespace. It is located on a network drive and can only be accessed by you. When you log into any managed desktop computer you will be connected to your F drive, and you will have access to all of the files that you have saved there. 

The F drive is automatically backed up at regular intervals, which means your work should be safe if your computer crashes.  Therefore the F drive is the best place to save important documents such as coursework and notes.

What are the other drives for?

You will probably see other local and network drives, such as C, D, O, P, R and S. These drives may hold faculty specific files and software. Do not worry about these drives, as you are unlikely to need to access them. You may also have access to different removable storage drives depending on what you have connected to your computer at the time.

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